Acute Injuries

Acute injuries can happen at any time and can often be quite debilitating. For many years, the go-to treatment method for acute injuries was the R.I.C.E. method, which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. However, recent studies have shown that this may not be the most effective treatment for acute injuries.

Physical therapists, athletic trainers, healthcare providers, and sports medicine specialists now recommend a different approach to manage acute injuries. 

Acute injuries can be frustrating. You may have been doing something you love and suddenly you're sidelined with pain. It can feel like your life is on hold.


The New P.O.L.I.C.E. Method Is Better

Now, there's a new way to approach treatment for acute injuries that can help you get back to your normal activities quickly. It's called the P.O.L.I.C.E. Principle and it can guide you in the proper way to use ice and gentle motion to reduce pain and inflammation.

  • Protection: During the first few days after an injury, you should certainly rest the injured joint, ligament, or muscle. After that, you can start gentle motion while still maintaining some protection of the injured area. During this time, you may require some sort of assistive device, like crutches, to walk.
  • Optimum Loading: This describes the gentle motion you can start while in the Protection phase. For example, passive range-of-motion (ROM) movement
  • Ice: Applying ice may help to manage the swelling around your injured muscle or joint, and ice can help decrease some of the acute pain that you may be experiencing. 
  • Compression: While applying ice, you can add compression with an ACE bandage.
  • Elevation: Elevation is simple for some body parts.


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